Sunday, 31 July 2011


Officially coming back to Nancy in September.
Roll on a new house, new job, French course, and weekends travelling to the south <3

Gonna keep missing you lovely people in England, but I will be back at Christmas!

Much love xxxxx

Friday, 29 July 2011

last night...

...was a good night!
Ate dinner with F+S for the last time, then spent the rest of the night with three crazy French men, red wine, a guitar and singing random Beatles and Elton John songs. Good times. I will definitely miss this.

This morning I took little one to creche for the last time. And had to say goodbye. And cried.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

byebye baby

This evening was my last evening with the little one. He goes to England with his Mum and Alice and Stanley on Saturday, but they are leaving tomorrow to meet the other children.
It was delightful. We played lots and laughed a lot and I prayed for him. I love these kids so much and I really hope they have a happy future. They have blessed my life and taught me so so much.
They really are special.

SO... now I have days to enjoy as I please (+plus packing) before hitting up the UK.
I really can't believe how fast this time has gone!

God bless xxx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sun is back!

This morning I felt a bit down. I had got back pretty late from Matthias's last night where we had played games and watched a British film (the guys totally didn't get it!) and drunk Cointreau. I cycled, and cycling back at 1:30am was pretty peaceful, there was nothing on the road. It was a really reflective time, thinking back on all the great moments of the last 6 months. It really has been amazing!

This morning walking my little one to creche, the weather was kind of chilly and misty and reminiscent of those spring mornings walking the children to school. It brought back such a feeling of nostalgia, and  took a walk through the park where images of memories with the children playing there seemed to flash through my mind. It was almost eerie, I can't really describe it, but it made me really miss the children. Back at home, I was tired and grumpy.

But later on, the sun came out, and my monsieur came over and we went off for a long cycle along the river. (Cycling is definitely my new favourite hobby!) It actually felt pretty hot for the first time in two weeks and it was great to be cycling along the beautiful riverside, with flowers lining the banks and talking and laughing with my favourite Frenchman. It felt like a little holiday, just for a couple of hours.

It kind of reminded me that we need to appreciate these moments of joy in a world where we are bombarded with sadness. My heart goes out to the people of Norway right now in the aftermath of an unbelievable atrocity. But God remains constant and pours out blessings in so many forms. We need to notice God's beauty in the world and try to reflect it, and fight back against evil, pain and sadness.

La vie est encore belle.

my penultimate weekend...

...was spent with two of my favourite people ever!
The weather was a bit chilly to say the least, but the rain kept off and the most important thing was that we were together!!

We spent a lot of time...

EATING. shopping in the markets. (on Sunday, F gave me 70euros to get what we wanted in the market - mad!)
...playing with my little one...
...exploring Nancy with and without VELOS!

We also played Crazy Golf...

...Eddie won!

We also went over to a friend from Church's place for a BBQ which was awesome, although I can't imagine how Erin and Eddie felt with all the French all night!
On Sunday we spent the afternoon cycling, listening to live music in the park and looking at Art Nouveau! In the evening, Erin and Eddie cooked for the family to say thanks :) Afterwards, after beer and wine, the four of us grabbed bikes and headed down to the Place to watch the light show, and chatted for ages afterwards...think this involved French lessons! More wine...back on the bike. Home safe!

Little one came to say goodbye at the station!
Thank you so much for coming, guys, much love to you xxxxxxxx

Saturday, 23 July 2011

waiting for people at the train station...

...has to be one of my favourite things to do here. I love the suspense of the train coming in, everyone getting off then looking around for whoever it is you're waiting for.

Erin got squashed with hugs!!

It was so amazing to see those to dear friends in Nancy, and so much more incredible that they managed to get here at all, over 14 hours after they'd left home (without a passport)!

So we took them back to the apartment, then headed straight down to Place Stan for a later dinner and to catch a bit of the light show!

So amazing to see these friends! Looking forward to a really good weekend!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Mental weather

It is literally raining so hard right now I think this city is gonna flood. But an hour ago it was really hot and sunny! The weather has been changing like this for about a month. I'm starting to lose my tan.
Also, every time I get a visitor from England, it rains. It's like I'm lying about how good the weather is here... hoping for some sun this weekend :)

Just realised how completely British about me to be complaining about the weather...

Yes, you do need a passport to come to France!

Today, my two lovely and very intelligent Oxford Graduate friends, Erin and Eddie are coming to visit.
I got a call from them this morning while I was in the park with my boy and our friend's 3 year old (babysitting other people's kids as well now!) and I was so excited, thinking they were going to say 'We're in Paris' or something like that...
But no,
Erin: 'I forgot my passport!' Gaaaaah!
Thank the Lord, the Eurostar people managed to get them on a later train so they could go back and retrieve the passport, and they will still be arriving today...just slightly later than planned!
Can't wait to see these awesome peeps for a fun-filled penultimate weekend in Nancy!

Bon weekend a tous!

Lots of love xxx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

american beauty

Watched this last night with my two favourite French men... had forgotten how awesome it is!

Favourite quotes: 
"And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."

"It's like God is looking right at you, Just for a second, And if you're careful, you can look right back.
"And what do you see? 

It touches me every time. I think it evokes the truth that although there is so much mess in this world, God can speak through it, and in an instant, you can be so close to Him and know he is supreme over everything. 

In other film news... go see 'Beginners' with Ewan McGregor... I don't know if it's out in England but I saw it here. It's really funny and so touching. Again, highlights some real truths of life, something that is so often lacking in a lot of films. 
It also made me miss my Dad like mad!

sleeping child

I'm not even joking. it's 8:45am and little one is STILL SLEEPING!
This is the latest I have EVER known him sleep. (The kids are usually all up before 7 - nightmare!) I put him to bed over 13 hours ago! Crazy. Unfortunately, as he still sleeps in a cot, I kinda have to hear him wake up, because he can't get out by himself, and as my room is at the other end of the apartment, I'm up now, waiting for him to wake up. I did get to stay in bed until after 8 though - a record!

Yesterday he didn't wake until 8:30. All this sleeping combined with his massive appetite at the moment - I sense a growth spurt!

In other news, I think Summer has gone... it wont stop raining... seems to be just in the East of France too. And it's not even very warm any more. Feels like England!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Recovering from the weekend

Fete National in France – 14th of July was on Thursday so we got a 4-day weekend!
Wednesday was the last day I had to look after Alice and Stanley. We went to the cinema and watched ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ in French…Alice sat on my lap the entire movie…she is not very cuddly normally so I know that meant something. We talked about how I was leaving and that there would be someone else coming to live in my room. They asked why I couldn’t stay longer (always a possibility, but as my future has not been made clear yet, I was not going to suggest that.) We are very close now, the kids and I. We have fun, we talk about things they don’t talk about with their parents. We talk about Jesus.
On the way home from the cinema, in the rain, (yes, after the heat of Tuesday it rained, and rained…and rained) they collected over 30 snails in the empty popcorn box and then deposited all of them outside the front door…poor snails! (Thankfully they didn't suggest cooking them!)

Wednesday night, an American friend, Lauren had a little soiree at her place, various friends – awesome company - great (vegetarian) food, wine, and, bizarrely a raid on her wardrobe which resulted in some of us dressing up, fake moustaches, dancing, 3am finish. Thanks for a good night, Lauren!

Add caption

(Oh and for those who are interested… this is my lovely Frenchman, his name is Jean-Baptiste:)

Missing one very special person, though. Betsy, we love you!!!!! 

On Thursday, I was woken up far too early, but seeing as sleep-deprivation is the norm for my life now, I got up and had breakfast with the family. Then we all cycled into town to watch the Bastille Day parade-thingamyjig!

It looked like this…

There was also a fly-past but it was blink-and-you-miss-it!

We then went to the park and took photos:
They looked like this…

We then had lunch and after I went home and had a nap…  before going with JB and Matthias to their family home to meet some of their family…
And then much later we had a little party at Matthias’ house, and on Friday I was even more tired…are you getting the pattern? Good day

On Friday afternoon, I went into town with Alice and we spent about and hour in a huge toy shop and I bought the children presents. Little did I know, they’d brought me presents too! In the evening, with all the family they also gave me pictures and cards that they had made and it was really sweet and I nearly cried.  That night I stayed in and had dinner with the family!

On Saturday morning early, the family left for Paris and I said a tearful goodbye to Alice and Stanley before going back to bed for the best lie-in ever! I did not get dressed till 2pm!

Spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with a friend, Angie, buying wine, and making a slightly strange cake with JB… but by the time the four of us (Matthias joined us for dinner) came to eat it I think we didn’t really care what it tasted like! Really good evening with good food (thanks Angie for cooking!) and staying up far too late again… though we made it to church in the morning!

Sunday was lazy.

The family came back last night with just little one and I realise that there are only two weeks left here. The time has completely flown. 6 months ago, I was about to leave to do a job I had no idea how to do, where I knew no one. Now I have little brothers and a sister, amazing friends, and have experienced how wonderful life can be when you let go and let God lead. His love is everywhere!

<< Mais en tout cela nous remportons la plus complète victoire par celui qui nous a aimés. Oui, j’ai la certitude que rien ne peut nous séparer de son amour… rien ne pourra jamias nous séparer de l’amour que Dieu nous a manifeste en Jésus-Christ notre Seigneur.>>
Romains 8:37-39 

Grab your opportunities, friends, you might just find something amazing!

With love xxx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

aaaaaaw 5 year old just came running out of his bed and gave me a massive hug and said "YOU FORGOT TO GIVE ME A KISS GOODNIGHT"... and 'i love you'.
OH my, am I gonna miss these kids.

In other news, apparently we're on an 'orange' storm warning.... Laura and I researched this today and this means we must be 'vigilant'... whatever that means! So far it has been insanely hot and there have been dark clouds. Bizarrely the massive park in town was also completely shut because of severe weather warnings, but so far NOTHING has happened!

Tomorrow is my last day looking after Alice and Stanley. I think I might cry. I love them so much.
I think this is making me feel more undecided about my decision to stay and work for a different family come september...

Sunday, 10 July 2011


I love France, but sometimes, I really miss home. BUT: in just over 3 weeks, I will be back with my family. This makes me utterly sad - that I have to leave this lovely family. But completely excited to see my family and friends at home.
This weekend, I missed seeing my sister in her play, missed seeing her dress up for her end of term ball. Missed eating in the garden with my family, chatting to my mum over breakfast and laughing with my Dad about how sunburnt he's got-again!
I am so excited for our family holiday in August where we can be together as a family after so long!

When I go back to England, I will miss the children, my church here, my friends... and calling them up and making plans, fresh baked croissants, sitting on the Place Stanislas with a bottle of wine and good girlfriends (such a good night, Friday, girls!) I will miss lazy Sundays where it's ok to sleep for 4 hours after lunch - thank you God for giving us a day of rest!! (and for France, where it's really honoured!)
And I might just miss someone else too... yes, there is a man in my life and he is French, and just LOVELY :)

I will miss this beautiful city (although I'm almost surely coming back!)

But wherever we go,  God is always with us. I love that one of my best friends is in America, another in Africa, others in the UK, but that when we pray for each other, God answers our prayers, wherever we are, and we are always connected. God is really with us wherever we go, wherever we go, we have His spirit and his joy, and I will forever rejoice in what he has done, and continues to do in my life, and the life of others.

God bless xxxx

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Found this on my sisters blogsite... seemed apt:

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a laptop, iPod, Blackberry, PS3, Wifi or iPads. I played outside with friends, bruised my knees, made up stories and played hide and seek. I ate what my mom made. I would think twice before I said “no” to my parents. Life wasn’t hard, it was good & I survived. Kids these days are spoiled. Re-post this if you appreciate the way you were raised. I think we were happier kids.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Recently... has been really hot!
Sunday before last was the start. It was amazing. I went with the family to a summer picnic with a Christian group that F+S are part of. It was on the top of this hill with a really beautiful church and amazing views....

On Monday and Tuesday it was something crazy like 36oc! 
On Monday, Laura and I decided to hit up the outdoor pool...this involved sunbathing and occasionally dipping in the pool to cool off! 
Picking up the children was very difficult in this weather as amazingly they still seemed to have a crazy amount of energy but it was fine!
On Wednesday the weather broke and it has been a bit cooler but still really nice since!
Wednesday was Stanley's 5th Birthday, so that was all excitement, and as I mentioned before, they children broke up from school on Thursday so on Friday, we were given the challenge of brightening up the cellar playroom! Armed with paints and brushes we started by writing our names, and then decided to paint fish and other such underwater creatures all over the wall! It actually ended up looking pretty awesome and the parents were pleased too! It all looked great for Stanley's Birthday party on Saturday!

The party was so much fun! There were children dressed up running around high on sweeties and I spent my time painting faces and helping with a puppet show!

Later on, we had our last choir concert of the school year at beautiful Lac de Madine about an hour away! It was a really fun evening and beautiful setting!

More photos here...

This week has been pretty crazy in my life... so more on that at another time!

In other news though, I did have a rather nice conversation with 4 old men at a cafe this morning while I was writing my journal. Gotta love the French!

Bisous xxx

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

new opportunities

Something smacked me in the face... and now I don't know what to do! I have been offered a job with a beautiful family in Nancy for September, with the opportunity to do a course at the Uni.... and I really want to take it. I don't want to go back to England yet. And they said I can stay however long I want.
Prayers please... and thoughts on a postcard! ha

Much love xxx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Jeudi 30 Juin

My rambles from Thursday morning having a coffee...

It really does feel as if the end of my time here is close now. Although I still have a month left here, the children finish school for the summer today (not even kidding - they don't got back until September 5th either! ...thinking it would be great to be a teacher in France!)

So it felt a bit strange doing the morning school run for the last time, handing my keys back to the school and thanking and saying 'au revoir' to the teachers; seeing some of the parents that I have become friendly with for perhaps the last time. And all the was hard to walk away.

Its funny because two of three of the families at the school have been interested in me working for them in September, but much as I'd love to stay, I feel that this has been an amazing phase in my a little snippet of time that I will always cherish...but there will be more.
A friend of mine suggested that maybe going back home is a good place to start again - I agree. I mean, I don't think that I wanna start fresh as such, but build on this amazing life-changing experience in a new way.
However, I think if something really smacks me in the face to make me stay, knowing God, I'd be wise not to ignore it. 

A bientot